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vivico1
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Re: Introduce Yourself/ letters from 1800s

Michael, you are so right about the prose of the letters of this period and how they poured their feelings into them. I was very much surprised by the style of the men's writing especially, I guess because I thought of them as never really having a lot of time to learn to write well or to write at all but actually, the men's handwriting even is easier to read than the women's. I was reminded by the owner of these, that it was often the men who got to go to school, not the women, so the men's grammer and handwriting was much better than a woman who stayed at home. Thats why too, on that one letter, it was nice to hear the father telling his daughter too that he was sending her a writing desk and wanted her to practice and learn. Good for him! I thought I would share one more letter tonight. Occasionally, you do one that is so heartfelt and intimate that you almost feel you are intruding to be reading it, yet you really want to read it. This was one. Holy cow this guy is in love! He talks about worrying about her being sick, that worries me too lol, cause there was so much yellow fever and scarlet fever around Mississippi and New Orleans around this time and people dying from it, that when I hear someone is sick, I am afraid to read the next letter, especially after one like this. She better be alright! This really is like a great novel, reading all of these, its like waiting for the next chapter to be handed to you. Anyway, for those interested in a post war love letter, read this wonderful letter. One note too. the perfume he sends her from Delettrez, the bottles were made by Bacarrat. Man, just that crystal Baccarat bottle today would be something to have! Right now tho, I think I would like to have Devereux lol :smileywink:

My darling Jule:

I have looked over all the town to find you some lavender water. I send you three kinds, two of Colgate, and one of Delletrez. I also send a small bottle of cologne which the Natchez Deng Co. affirms to be the same that F. A. Dicks made, and which you told me you liked. I hope some of the lavender will prove of the quality you once used, and you must be sure to let me know which brand suits you the best, also let me know if the cologne is the same.
Now my darling I will feel very much hurt if you fail to let me know because all I live for is to please (last line cut off completely on first page)

confide every little taste and wish to me, just the same as you do your thoughts and feelings.
I know my beloved my precious, that you will bring me good fortune and success, and to ___ it together, makes life so much dearer, and binds us nearer, and with happy prosperous years, I will, at least, I hope and pray that I will, be able to give you every comfort, that the noblest sweetest purest and best woman on earth, as you are, deserves.
Oh my love, my life, surely God will bless us, for he must know how intensely, how faithfully I love you. It is not long before you will be my wife, my adored, my beloved my precious wife, and I thank god that our love will soon be sanctified by the closest, holiest and most tender relationship, that is possible in life. Oh sweetheart, in a few more days and you will

be my wife, and I - why I will be your husband, forever, forever and forever in soul in thought, intensely faithful loyal and true. Let these words during all the days of your life be a shield in your soul against all doubts or suspicions that may ever arise to assail the faith and devotion of my love. Oh keep them in your memory forever, that you may guard well the most intense faith that one soul ever gave another in this world.
My darling, your Father tells me you are sick. Oh my angel, my love, my life, I pray God you are well now. I knew you would take cold the other night, Jule dear love you are better now, are you not? Can I do anything for you, Oh love it is too hard to be from you when I should be at your side and nurse you. I will be in Jeannette at Mr. Bakers tomorrow.

oh what an unhappy day for me to spend without knowing how you are. You have no idea how I suffer when you are ill & I am helpless & unable to reach you. Write some little line if you are able, and let your Father mail it tomorrow. I will try & reach town Sunday evening.
I was sick yesterday from a severe cold, my trip to Pine Ridge doing me harm. I am up today and you need not worry about me.
Dunnie prevents me from writing with much sense.
I will kiss you good bye. God be with you my beloved.

Your devoted,
Devereux
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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MichaelCWhite
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Re: Introduce Yourself/ letters from 1800s

Now THAT is a love letter. I think we can all take a lesson from such pure and direct expressions of feeling for another.

Thanks for the letter.
Michael


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Re: Introduce Yourself/ letters from 1800s

WOW! Thanks so much for sharing this letter, Vivian. It's so beautifully and sincerely expressed. I hope Jule was as devoted to Devereux as he to her.
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Re: Introduce Yourself/ letters from 1800s

LOL, you are both right. Michael, that is some love letter, so I just had to share it! And ENG, I just hope she lives to marry him. So far when I read these letters and someone is sick, two more letters later and they are dead! I have wept over some of these letters. This is like unraveling a great novel, a few pages at a time, with other works in between what may be the next correspondence between the ones you are reading about now. Devereux, was a captain in the New Orleans National Guard by this time, his father had been a soldier for the south during the war. I transcribed a list of men who would re-enlist for the national guard between personal letters and an order for uniforms too. Hey Michael, you talked some about sympathies for the opposite side from both the north and the south during the war. Well, Mr Shields I am told by this decendant I am doing this for, had made some kind of alliance with a general or two from the north during the war. There was a letter from one of his friends who went overseas for awhile writing him about the state of affairs in the south after the war and that he was so very glad to hear that this Mr. Shields faired well and was able to get a good price for some of his land because he had heard that the northerners, mostly soldiers would come in and just "take possession" of the land and they were just out of money and a home in some areas. He said he was coming home to see how well he could fair then since Shields did. I had ask the woman here about that, and thats when she told me about this "deal" he had with the north but they are not sure what it was. I said, so this guy overseas may be coming home to nothing, not knowing that Shields may have got a "good price" because of his relationship with the Yankees? She said that's the thing.
And they did get to keep their plantations, they had a couple, and a couple of actual "townhouses" which were houses "in town" they often stayed in for special occassions or if they were in town and the weather was bad, or they wanted to throw a party and it was closer to every one than going out to one of the plantations. I always kind of wondered why we call townhouses, townhouses. Shields, Devereux Sr. not this one, died early after the war tho and crops were failing and Julia, his wife and the mother to this young man, had a heck of a time making a go of it on the plantation then. Some of the slaves stayed with her, some left. Devereux, this one, I believe did not want to be a plantation owner, much like Cain didn't, so I think he went back east some and went to college to become a lawyer or seeking a job with the US Navy based back in New Orleans. I can't wait to see what happens with these two tho. He can write me a love letter any time hehe. :smileywink:
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: Introduce Yourself/ letters from 1800s

Wow Viv, that was the best one yet! Wouldn't it be great if we all had such treasures from our own ancestors? One side of my family has kept records of family reunions, births, deaths, special occasions, etc. The other side of my family didn't keep track of anything and seems to have so many secrets there are some things we'll never know. I've always kept a journal for my kids since before they were born. It's just to talk to them in my own voice and tell them all about what we have been doing as a family over the years. I thought it would be fun to read about themselves from when they were too little to remember. I wonder how my writing will be interpreted in the future. EEK! :smileywink: I won't be remembered for my prose but it has been fun for me and I hope my kids will enjoy it someday.
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Re: Introduce Yourself/ letters from 1800s

Ok guys, I got an update on Devereux and Jule, from the great granddaughter I am doing this for. She said, they were very much in love, they DID get married and had two children :smileyhappy: ....but...now if you dont like sad reality read no further....11 years after they were married, Jule was killed by a TORNADO!! and they said that Devereux became a heavy drinker and they would have to go out to her grave and bring him home, he would lay there drunk and crying and then two years later got sick and died too. She said her family says that he couldnt get over losing her and thats why he died. I got to see pictures of both of them today. He was just an average looking guy who had a way with words tho and did love deeply and she was a gorgeous young woman.

OH Michael, if your reading this, Julia, the woman I am doing this for said to ask you if you have ever read a book called "Plantation Mistress" by Catherine Clinton. She says its not some steamy story lol, its about how the women of the plantation had so much to take care of, they were like a mistress, I saw one chapter called slaves of the slaves. Its about the plantation owners wives and all they had to do, that plantation life was really no Scarlett Ohara thing. Also she said, several of her ancestors, some of which i will be reading their letters, are mentioned in that book. Ever hear of it? Any good? I am curious because Julia gets very defensive of the plantation owners, well the slave owners sometimes and since we dont know each other well, we both kind of tiptoe around some of these issues sometimes lol.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: Introduce Yourself/ letters from 1800s

No, I haven't read the book. Sounds interesting. Of course, there's Jones' book THE KNOWN WORLD, which is about plantations, and slaves owning slaves. I'll have to look it up when I get a moment.

Thanks.
Michael


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Re: Introduce Yourself/ letters from 1800s

Vivian, thanks so much for posting the letter and the update --- a wonderfully written letter, but a heartbreaking update!

I requested Plantation Mistress from our local library system. It sounds fascinating.
Laura

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Re: Introduce Yourself/ letters from 1800s/wars

I have a short letter here from an Ashton. He is the youngest son of the woman in these letters I read the most about. The romantic letter was from one of her older sons. Her husband and brothers were in the civil war. Now this is later, its dated March 13 1898, so I share it with you because of what he says almost as a postscript. It was written one month before the U.S. declared war on Spain, (the Spanish-American War) on April 25th, 1898. If Ashton went, I am looking forward to seeing what happens to him. Julia, through the years, loses several men to war, or war related injuries. She loses lots of people actually. Seems the fever of one sort or another was around a lot too. These letters make me think of Cain and the war he was in and about the woman they run into with the baby and the fever. I have just read one where the young man in the National Guard is told to not let anyone pass or turn back that are coming from another county but to send them to "the quarantine" for 10 days before letting them go on their way. I think about Cain's reaction to the woman with the baby as opposed to Rosetta. Rosetta's compassion outweighs her fear and watching that makes Cain reign his in to help her. I think too, for Rosetta, what has she really got to lose in helping this woman, versus going back to Eberly. This is so cool reading this book at the same time I am reading these letters. Each one, the book and the letters have me wondering what is going to happen next! This last line really got me worried.

"Only"
March 13th '98

My Dear Mother,

I would have written before now but have been very busy ever since I returned from Natchez. I rec'd a very sweet letter from Julia one or two days ago, which I will ans. as soon as I have time. I was so very sorry to hear little Geo. had been very ill but hope he is all right by now. When you see Dev. please ask him if he got the check for the 15.00 I sent him. I will enclose in this letter 10.00 for you & will try to be on better time next time. I do not know anything to say that would be of interest to you except that I am very well & getting on well. With much love to you & W. & hoping you are well.


I am your most devoted son.
Ashton

From what little I see of the papers we will have war. I expect to go if we do.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: Introduce Yourself/ letters from 1800s/wars

Vivian,

The work you do with these letters is fascinating and, as you mention, it ties in nicely to your SC reading. These letters are glimpses of history and I'm enjoying them immensely. Thanks again for sharing another one with us.

ENG267

P.S. To complement the theme of letters, letter writing, and the Civil War, I've added a wonderful title to the Recommended Readings.
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Re: Introduce Yourself/ letters from 1800s/wars

Vivian,

These letters are really wonderful insights into the hearts of men and women in those times. In some ways not so very different from us, but they lived, I think, with greater depth and intensity, given the frailties of their lives.

Michael


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Re: Introduce Yourself/ letters from 1800s/wars


MichaelCWhite wrote:
Vivian,

These letters are really wonderful insights into the hearts of men and women in those times. In some ways not so very different from us, but they lived, I think, with greater depth and intensity, given the frailties of their lives.

Michael


Michael, I am finding them amazing. And they are making the people of this time period more real to me. I feel what they feel as I read what they write. I asked the woman if it was ok if i shared a few of these with everyone here and she was ok about it. She has many of the slave records done already and gave a copy to the Mississippi historical society and one to their genealogical society. I said good grief, this is like reading a wonderful novel. I said the writer I am reading right now (you lol) could take your letters and write a huge novel from all of these! She just laughed. The Shields side of this family, which most of these are, as you come forward in history, stayed in the Navy and just recently she went to the reunion of men who served on a ship the Shields, named after her grandfather, I think or her father, shes an older lady herself. She showed me a picture of her mother or grandmother christening it. So they have to be here online somewhere I guess. We are doing these 1800-1910 records right now. She is pleased with how its going so she said when we are done, I have some letters and things from the 1700s that I would like you to give a go at and see if you can read them. That will be really awesome too.

p.s. I think you are right about them living with greater intensity because of the frailty of their lives in this time. I am a Mormon and some of the most moving letters and journals I have ever read were written by some of the early Mormon settlers and especially the pioneers going across the frontier, facing the land, lots of hostilities, weather that killed many and still going on with this long trek west because of their faith.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: Introduce Yourself/ letters from 1800s/wars


MichaelCWhite wrote:
Vivian,

These letters are really wonderful insights into the hearts of men and women in those times. In some ways not so very different from us, but they lived, I think, with greater depth and intensity, given the frailties of their lives.

Michael


OK, I know, stop with the letters lol, but this one is from the one son, Wilmer who had to stay at home and help his mother Julia take care of the Plantation, Buckhurst plantation, after Wilmer Sr. died. His writing is so interestingly worded at times. But I also wanted to share this with you because of what he is reading, and he reads a lot like Cain. Check out the name of who he wants volumes of books by and also what he just read and thinks about it, as he talks about this "historical novel" :smileywink: Michael, what is it with the men of this time and books of the Roman Empire? How interesting.


My Dear Ag,

Your note of yesterday reached me this afternoon, and, as you see, I answer it immediately, although I can not transmit this to you until Friday - our next mail-day.
Mother had been unwell for a week to ten days previously, but did not take to her bed - where she remained three or four days until last Thursday, the 17th. I am, to present, convinced that she was quite sick - for an hour or two on Friday, even seriously so - though she protested, throughout her confinement, that she was merely indisposed, and assured me each day that she would be "all right" the next. She is now up and about, much improved, and I think will be as well as usual when you read this.
You can't imagine how trying a position mine is when mother is sick. At such times she either studiously conceals or perversely misrepresents her condition, and, of course, the knowledge of this secretiveness & artifice on her part is productive of uncertainty and. consequently, alarm and apprehension on mine.
The bare suggestion that a doctor should be summoned sums to excite her in the highest degree, and I verily believe that if one were to be sent for, in opposition to her wishes, that she would exclude him from her room, as she once did, under similar circumstances, in Natchez. Don't repeat what I have said to mother. It would do no good, and, besides, she has already charged me with writing exaggerated accounts of her sickness to Dev., thereby, as she says creating unnecessary alarm on her account. As a matter of fact, my note to D. (written at his request) simply related my conviction that she was a sicker woman than she admitted herself to be.
X X X X
Mch. 25th. I will add a line or two to what I wrote above Wednesday. Mother continues to improve, though she is still suffering from an __tinate cold and a disagreeable ringing in the ears. Letty came over to see us Tuesday, spent the night with us, and returned to O. next day. She was looking badly, but seemed to be as cheerful and talkative as ever.
Please ask Mr. Marshall to lend me Dryden's works. They are -or were- in the book-case on the right of the hall as you enter, it's several vols. Should he be kind enough to comply with this request, have them for me with Dev. when you find it convenient. I will take good care of them.
I have just finished "Quo Vadis". Have you read it? It is as good as most historical novels, I think, though I am not over-fond of such. The author follows Tacitus closely, - especially in his description of the feast given by Tigellinus, and the burning of the Christians in Nero's gardens.
Give Clifton my love & tell him that his sow will have pigs in a day or two. How is Georgie? And George?

With love to all,
Yours Affectionately,
Wilmer -
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: Introduce Yourself/ letters from 1800s/wars/ He enlisted~!

Well, Wilmer did enlist and took his brother with him Clifton (or bro in law) I keep saying I am going to stop posting these here, but I am hoping its ok back here at intros, so as to not interrupt the flow of the book on the other threads. Check this out tho, I was cracking up at what he says about two men who get rejected, but what the crap happened to Winston in the cook's tent! He doesn't seem to upset by it, other than he will miss him, what the..?? Also, definitely the letter of a young man who has seen no battle yet.

OH, and where it says the date and "inst." I do not know why they use that but its a very common thing written after the date refering to a previous letter throughout the 1800s.


My Dear, Dear Mother:

Your letter of the 13th inst. reached me yesterday. Since the first night we spent here canvass sacks, straw-filled, have been furnished us and I have slept like a top.
I passed the physical examination yesterday and Clifton a day or two earlier. Shelby was rejected, naturally, and has been hopping around like a chicken with its head cut off ever since. He is now trying to get into the ambulance corps. Winston Fitzhugh, who was brought out by the Co. to wait on us, was found dead in the cook's tent this morning. He had been very attentive to me while here and I am really sorry he is gone. Cammie Holden is my tent mate and a mighty good one he is. We are expecting a crowd out fr. Natchez today. Dev. told me he expected to get a commission in the 2nd Reg. but nothing of his home arrangements.

I am sitting on my blankets using my knee for a desk as I write, so you much make allowances for the appearance of this note. Should I want anything I will certainly let you know. I don't find this life half as hard as I expected, so don't worry about me, dear mother. I will write you again soon. Be sure to give my love to all - I have not time to mention names.

Your devoted son,
Wilmer


Clifton sends love. I am exceedingly glad that that damned fool Will Metcalfe was rejected & sent home.
I suppose you know Tom Shields is here as Capt. of the Vicksburg Co. I have had two or three short talks with him. I believe the war will be over before we leave here.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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